This 1960s instructional film shows how to use an early kind of
photocopy machine called a spirit duplicator. The film also shows a
photocopy machine (1:20), an offset duplicator (1:25), and a stencil duplicator (1:44). At 1:49 a spirit duplicator is shown. At 2:00
the narrator mentions the name Ditto, as that company was once
prominent in the field. The dye transfer process is then explained.
A spirit duplicator (also referred to as a Ditto machine in North
America, Banda machine in the UK or Roneo in Australia, France and South
Africa) was a printing method invented in 1923 by Wilhelm Ritzerfeld
and commonly used for much of the rest of the 20th century. The term
"spirit duplicator" refers to the alcohols which were a major component
of the solvents used as "inks" in these machines. The device
coexisted alongside the mimeograph.
Spirit duplicators were used mainly by schools, churches, clubs, and
other small organizations, such as in the production of fanzines,
because of the limited number of copies one could make from an original,
along with the low cost (and corresponding low quality) of copying.
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